Short film competition has record participation turnout


    The TCU Student Film Association had a record number of members participate in its 24-hour short film competition Thursday.

    Participants in the biannual are split into teams and given 24 hours to script, film, produce and edit a short film. The films are then shown to all participants and SFA members who vote on the winner.

    This year, the event took place on Sept. 10 and the films were shown Thursday at the SFA meeting.

    SFA President Chelsea Hicks, a junior film-television-digital media major, said that usually only 10 to 15 people show up, which allows for two or three teams. This semester’s event, however, drew 24 students who were able to split into four groups.

    “It’s my favorite event,” Hicks, who had the idea to make the event into a competition, said. “It’s a lot of people’s favorite event. I wish we could have it a lot more than we do. It’s a really great way to kick off the semester.”

    Each of the four groups chose a slip of paper with a genre, a prop and a line of dialogue from a hat.

    Nathan Pesina, a senior writing and FTDM double major and participant, said the hat idea was a great way to get the 24 hours started. People need inspiration, he said.

    “Even if you give them something small, its always interesting to see what they can do with just what they draw out of a hat,” he said.

    The featured props included nail clippers and a Blow Pop lollipop among others. The lines of dialogue were incorporated into the films by most groups, though the winning group chose theirs as the title of their film.

    Due to the time constraints, many participants used places on campus for set locations. A group filming a medical drama chose to film in the Nursing School for a more authentic setting, Hicks  said.

    Hicks said that as president, she spent an hour with each group to help out with basic errands such as picking up food so participants could keep working without having to stop and get dinner.

    “It’s one of the most fun things we can do as an organization,” Pesina said. “It’s almost like filmmaking at its most organic.”

    ​Many film festivals host 24-hour or 48-hour film competitions in addition to the set entertainment for attendees to participate in. Hicks said the competition will help students build their portfolios for future work opportunities.

    “I think every film major should be a part of SFA because this is where you’re going to get your hands-on experience, this is where you’re going to get things for your portfolio,” Hicks said. “Everybody has the right to show a film that they have worked on in their portfolio or use it in their resume. So this semester we’re really trying to make sure that everyone has a copy of their films.”

    Junior FTDM majors Kyle Gossett, Paul Heyduck, Shelby Neese, Xing You, Daniel Floren and sophomore FTDM major Maddi Burton won first place with their thriller “Exit Stage Left.”

    The four short films from this semester’s 24-hour event are posted on the SFA YouTube channel, along with past projects done by members.